Happy Star Wars Day

It’s May the 4th, and I’m considering seeing Avengers: Infinity War again.  The debate is not if, it’s a matter of when.  While I’m working out my scheduling logistics, let’s consider how similar this film is to the best of the Star Wars series – The Empire Strikes Back.

As a young buck back in 1981, I was fortunate to see Empire in the theater and experience the jaw-dropping “I am your father” revelation.  No Internet back in the day, so spoilers were not quite as rampant.  Of course after Luke has his hand cut off, learns the face of evil is his father, and finds his best friend has been captured by the bounty hunter, the movie ends.  WHAT!?!?  This was not supposed to happen.  The good guys are supposed to win, right?  This was tough on a kid.  For a while there I did not appreciate the greatness of Empire because I was expecting more vanquishing of the dark side, not this “bad guys win” nonsense.

Flash forward to the epic nerd experience discussion with Joe Russo a few days ago and he mentions, specifically, that it’s tough to accept, but sometimes the bad guys win.  Avengers: Infinity War is my son’s version of Empire.  He’s a little more accepting of the ending of this movie than I was back in 1981, but it’s still got him thinking.  What just happened?  Wasn’t Thor’s epic quest supposed to end with Thanos cut in half?  No.  But at least the main character didn’t lose his hand after kissing his sister.

We’ll be back to posting about the Perpetual Wealth Code and other more responsible topics soon, but let’s take some time to celebrate today.  If you need some Star Wars meme inspiration, good stuff right here.

May the force be with you.

Virtual Mentors

I listen to a lot of podcasts.  It all started very small with just one podcast that jumped out at me after reading a blog post.  That one led to another and the avalanche of iTunes subscriptions was on.  There are so many queued up (with so many added every week) that I will not get to them all.  Even with the double-speed listening option on the phone, which I cannot recommend highly enough.  If I hear one of these podcasts in normal speed now I feel like they are playing a game of who can be more sloth-like.  That’s brutal, but you should try the double-speed option.

What’s the point of all this speed-listening?  Each of these hosts has achieved something that I admire and I am trying to emulate.  Better health, more efficiency, more financial control, you name it, these folks have seemed to master it.  And I’m looking for ways to improve.  The saying that is (and should be) beaten into your head goes – you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  The reason for this is partially environment (if all your friends are dining on wings and beer…), but it extends to how you think.  How do you look at money?   Successful people?  Fit people?  Anyone who has something that seems out of reach?  This has been influenced by the people you spend the most time with.

While I fully believe that who you spend time with matters, I also believe that you can create virtual mentors for yourself to break out of the mental cage you have been trapped in.  Do yourself a favor and check out episodes from any of the following podcasts.  It’s possible some are more interesting to me than anyone reading this, but my bet is that you’ll find something useful.  And you will probably find a lead on another virtual mentor based on whoever is being interviewed.  Best of luck…

The James Altucher Show

The Time Ferriss Show

The Model Health Show

Fat-Burning Man

Kwik Brain w/ Jim Kwik

Wealth Talks

WorkLife w/ Adam Grant

The Urban Monk

Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 

Everyone should be in two businesses

“Everyone should be in two businesses.  Whatever business they operate, and the banking business.”  – R. Nelson Nash

The quote above comes from one of my early mentors and it’s just as valuable today as when I first heard it.  First of all, this applies to everyone, not just business owners.  When he refers to the businesses we operate, he’s including anyone who works as an employee and earns a wage.  Whether we are incorporated or not, we should all view ourselves as the CEO of “Me, Inc.”.  The idea of dueling businesses applies to each of us.

In the spirit of Small Business Week, I figured we could focus on the “small business” of our personal finances, which is what Mr. Nash is referring to when he speaks of the banking business.  I like to refer this as a money management system rather than a bank, but he has his own terminology.

Let’s start by making the obvious connection between your two businesses.  For sake of argument, pretend you are a contractor and you serve your local community.  You are rewarded for your service with nice green certificates of appreciation (also known as cash).  If this cash is going to be stored somewhere other than your wallet, it’s likely going into your checking account.  From there, you allocate part of the cash to savings, another part to paying for your truck, and the rest to your lifestyle.  So your primary business/job that drives your revenue/paycheck feeds your money management system.

When talking about financing your truck, or any other piece of equipment, the traditional thinking is that this is done through a commercial bank and that you make monthly payments over the years.  What if your money management system could finance the truck/equipment and the payments came back to you?  What if the interest earned on that money were now building in your money management system rather than just being paid out each month?  The answer is that you would now be in the banking business, as Mr. Nash recommends.

We refer to this system as the Perpetual Wealth Code.  It’s a simple, though not always easy, process of recapturing the interest and fees paid to money managers by accessing your own capital.  Whether you finance a work truck, a new copier, or fishing boat, the method and the results are the same.  More control over your finances and greater increase in your wealth.

There are many ways to go about this process, but it is much easier when you have a guide who practices what they teach.  Feel free to reach out with questions.

Small Business Week!

We are in the midst of “Small Business Week” and I will admit that I’m not sure what that means.  I think the idea is to encourage everyone to shop local and celebrate small businesses this week, but it feels a bit like Valentine’s Day.  It’s a made up “holiday” where you act like you should all the time.  Should you treat your loved one with love and kindness for just one day, or every day of the year?  Should you shop locally just this week, or whenever you need something that the local business offers?

We aren’t two dimensional beings so clearly there will occasionally be arguments against this, but I’m sticking with my Small Business Week = Valentine’s Day premise.

With all of that being said, be sure to celebrate your local small businesses early and often.  These people often have a stronger connection to the local community and show it by donating both time and treasure.  Not only do they support the community at large, they provide jobs and serve a specific need.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of believing business is a zero sum game.  Someone has to win and someone has to lose.  And business people are generally bad.  Anyone watching TV and movies on a semi-regular basis will have noticed this theme.  Sadly, this theme has tainted the conversation about business in general and is just not helpful.  Business is a beautiful thing, as it serves a need that someone is willing to pay for.  When that exchange takes place between a local small business person and their neighbor, it’s that much stronger.

So celebrate your local small businesses every day and show your loved one some appreciation.  Can’t you feel life getting better already?